Amigurumi Tips and Tricks – Crochet Tips
I often hear that amigurumi looks too difficult and assembly is too hard. So I thought I’d put together my best tips for great amigurumi projects!
If you have any tips to add to this list, leave them in the comments below!
First let’s start off with, what is amigurumi? — Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting or knitting stuffed toys.
The main stitches and techniques that you’ll need to know before starting most amigurumi projects are as follows:
- Magic ring (aka magic circle)
- Single crochet
- Increases and decreases
- Working in the round
I’d love to see what you make with these tips! Don’t forget to share a photo of your finished work in my Facebook group!
Amigurumi Tips and Tricks
USE A SMALLER HOOK
When working amigurumi, you should always use a smaller hook than what is recommended on the label. The reason to size down is to keep your stitches as tight as possible, to ensure that no stuffing is showing through your finished projects.
On every yarn label, you’ll see a small icon that looks like a little skein of yarn with a number on it. This indicates the yarn weight. Every yarn is broken up into one of the following categories.
Each yarn label will recommend a hook size based on the yarn weight. For example, a skein of WeCrochet’s Brava Worsted recommends hook sizes 5.25mm (I) through 6.5mm (K). This is my go-to yarn for amigurumi and I use a 4mm (G) hook when making amigurumi with this yarn.
I addition to using a smaller than the recommended hook size, you’ll also want to consider your tension. If you are someone who crochets fairly loosely, you may want to go even smaller in hook size. Whereas if you are someone who crochets very tightly, you might not need to go down quite as far. This is something you would only be able to know for sure through trial and error.
Size down based on the yarn label and then adjust your hook size accordingly, as needed. This may be slightly different for every yarn that you use, even if they are in the same yarn weight category.
It’s great to have a full set of crochet hooks on hand so that you can easily adjust your hook size whenever you need! My absolute favorite hooks are the Clover Amour hooks, which you can find here. A great, budget friendly alternative to the Clover hooks are WeCrochet’s Bright set, which you can find here.
USE STITCH MARKERS
When you are working in continuous rounds, you do not join the end of each round with a slip stich; you just keep working round and round. This means that without counting every single stitch as you work, it is nearly impossible to keep track of which row you are on without a stitch marker. And how can you keep count of every stitch while you’re busy watching your favorite Netflix show!
Stitch markers are a life saver. After you work your first stitch of the round you are working on, you loop your stitch marker through the top, and then continue working your round. When you get back to the stitch marker, take it out, work your first stitch of the next round, and insert the stitch marker into the top of that stitch.
I prefer locking stitch markers so that they don’t slip out. I have sets of stitch markers available in my shop here. I also really like these plastic ones, here.
LEARN THE INVISIBLE DECREASE
Learning the single crochet invisible decrease has been an absolute game changer. There aren’t many people (that don’t crochet) who would be able to point out a traditional decrease in an amigurumi project, but for me, they are so obvious and I used to worry that customers would question it or think that it is a mistake.
All of my amigurumi patterns recommend using the invisible decrease. I’ll share the written instructions here, and include a video tutorial below.
I’d also like to point out that you may see increases and decreases written a few different ways. In my patterns, I use 2 SC for a single crochet increase, or SC2tog for a since crochet decrease. Other patterns may use INC and DEC – in which you would do the increase or decrease in whatever stitch that you are working in the pattern, so this could be for single crochets, double crochets, etc.
SC2tog (using invisible decrease method): Insert hook into front loop of the first stitch. Insert hook into front loop of second stitch. Yarn over. Draw through the first two loops on hook. Yarn over. Draw through both loops on hook.
LEARN SEAMLESS COLOR CHANGES
Using a seamless color changing technique allows you to discreetly change colors from one to the next. You can see the method that I use here:
USE A ROW COUNTER
While a row counter isn’t super necessary, it is super useful. Especially when you are working several rows of single crochet that can all blend together. Rather than going back and counting your rounds, you can just click the button on your row counter after you complete each round so that you don’t lose your place!
You can find a row counter just like the one that I use, here. I love that it wraps around your finger like a ring so that you don’t misplace it every time you put it down – we all know how easily that can happen. Where did my hook go?! 🙂
DON’T OVER STUFF
When it comes time to add stuffing to your finished crochet pieces, it can be hard to know just how much stuffing to put in. Of course you don’t want to put too little stuffing in and have a super floppy finished piece (unless that’s the look you’re going for). But at the same time, you don’t want to over stuff for one main reason – your stitches will stretch and you’ll be able to see your stuffing poking through the outside.
While the proper hook size typically prevents this from happening, if you stuff your amigurumi with too much poly-fil, that careful hook choice won’t matter at all.
So how do you make sure that you have the right amount? First off, as you stuff, pull your stuffing apart and insert only small bits at a time. Think of it like fluffing your pillow at bed time. Poly-fil stuffing is very packed when you purchase, so you want to properly fluff it back up when it goes in to your creations.
After you stuff your piece, you’ll want to smooth the outside if needed to make sure you don’t have any strange clumps or bumps.
If you are struggling with the head of your amigurumi projects flopping around, this video might help you learn how to prevent the wobbly head!
USE PINS FOR ASSEMBLY
The only part of amigurumi that I do not look forward to is assembly, and it is often noted as being the most difficult. However, since I’ve started using pins to assist with assembly, I dread this part just a little less.
There is nothing worse than lining up an arm, sewing it on, and then realizing that you’ve sewn it on crooked. Pins nearly eliminate that from happening.
My favorite type of pins to use for assembly are T pins. If you do any blocking, you likely already have these on hand. But any straight pin will do!
You just simply place your pieces to be sewn where you want them and insert the pins to hold the pieces in place. As you sew, just remove the pins that have been secured. Then when you’re finished, there are no surprises and everything is secured to the same place you wanted it to be.
Have you found any of these tips helpful? Any tips that you would add to this list? Leave me a comment below!
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Thanks for stopping by! Happy crafting!
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I would also highly recommend a curved tapestry needle for sewing pieces together.
Yess! A good sturdy one too! I have one that is a little too thin and it does not do the job. Haha.